Semantics

sujiwan_gwApril 21, 2008

If you devote three acres to intensively planting specialty crops in raised beds for sale to restaurants as your main source of income would you be considered a "farmer" in the historically understood sense or are you a "market gardener" or some other modern species? A friend and I are trying to figure this one out.

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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

A Farmer is someone who who operates a farm, engaged in the production or raising of crops, poultry, or livestock.

A Market Gardener cultivates, on suburban land of high value, vegetables and flowers for the supply of nearby cities. Successive crops are employed to obtain continuous returns from the acreage.

A corporation-owned, chemically-grown crop is produced by a 'grower'. (I was just told that today, I didn't make it up).

How's that?

Sue

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:33PM
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paveggie(z5-6)

Check both the fed tax schedules C & F with all the instructions. Quite frankly it was suggested I use C, but even finding a category (which you must have) was a problem. How you file your tax will determine it.

The rest is, as you say, semantics.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 12:58AM
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sujiwan_gw

Thanks.
So, Sue, it's a question of land values by your definition?
The place I'm thinking of is 21 miles southwest of Baltimore, MD and about the same distance north of DC--so part of the metroplex--very high land values in comparison to less crowded venues. So, if you have an acre of land in a more rural area and sell some specified $ amount for tax purposes, you're considered a farm? And are these strictly government type classifications as opposed to what people would historically consider to be "a farm"--minimally?

I was wondering about this question in part because of the way the government plays with words these days when coming up with figures for manufacturing. People who work at fast food places constructing burgers are now classified as part of manufacturing numbers. I was wondering if what constitutes a farm/farming had undergone similar treatment.

Again, thanks for comments.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 6:46AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I was mainly being a smart a$$.

Paveggie's advice is probably best from a tax and legal standpoint.

But what you call yourself is up to you. If you have a quarter-acre in specialty lettuces and want to call yourself a farmer, I don't have any problem with it.

If you have 1000 acres and grow vegetables and chicken for every farmers market within 200 miles and want to call yourself a market gardener, that's okay with me, too.

Ask 100 people and you'll probably get 100 definitions.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 10:54PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

on Ohio a farm is either more than 10 acres are under ten acres but you gross a minimum of $2500 a year. So if you make your living growing for direct sale on small acrage in Ohio you are a farmer

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 5:36AM
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digit(ID/WA)

Greenhouse operations are considered farms by the government and yet the area may be less than an acre. Numerous people at a greenhouse may be employed as "growers" and that term is used on other types of farms.

The property owner (and that may be all he or she is) sometimes seems to be using the term in a patronizing sort of way. Having no property known as a farm, this agriculturalist is a grower.

I have a little confusion with regards to "market gardener" perhaps because I have a problem with the term "farmers' market." First of all, does the market have a claim on the gardener in some way? Hard to know by the designation.

Then with "farmers' market" - I'm a stickler for the apostrophe in the right place. No one farmer owns the market. A "farmer's market" is incorrect - that's a farm stand. And leaving the apostrophe off, to a space alien, could mean that the farmers are for sale. That's confusing the institution with modern contract agriculture.

digitS'
who will use grower, farmer, and market gardener proudly on all occasions (while filing a schedule F with the IRS)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 2:03AM
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